Once month, here at the office, my partner, Greg, and I teach classes on the Buyer and Seller processes that our new agents go through. Every time we get into the listing process, he hands the class over to me to talk about staging a property to make it feel universally welcoming. I always pull up a couple of examples of my past listings, and in both of these, there’s always something that makes him crack up- a boxwood wreath on the front door. In both cases, it was a wreath that I pulled off of my own house and ran to the listing for photos and showings.
There’s something about creating a welcome first glance at a property that makes people feel comfortable. Any time I’m about to put a home on the market- or, when I’m in the process of re-decorating or sprucing mine up with the change of seasons, I turn to the advice of my friend Lana Carrol about how to make things appear their very best.
Lana is a colleague of mine, but is also an expert psychological stager. While her advice is geared towards those getting their homes ready to sell, the same ideas and suggestions can be tailored for those who just want to create a warmer, more comfortable (and enviable!) entrance since warmer weather is upon us.
** Clean the front door. This is a great suggestion to keep on a regular schedule! For us, it’s a normal occurrence to find doggie nose prints on the glass, but children’s handprints, adult’s handprints, pollen, and general dust and debris can build up really easily.
** Be sure that porch lights are clean and working well. Our porch lights have an open bottom, and spiderwebs show up so quickly (we dab tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil inside to repel spiders). Clean those out, and make sure the bulbs are new and bright (and match each other in color and wattage) for both appearance and safety reasons.
** Replace the welcome mat. Because we haven’t built a cover over our porch yet, our welcome mat gets beat up pretty quickly. I love this mat from Target because of the width, and buy them two at a time so that there’s always one on hand.
** Consider a simple wreath or doorhanger on the front doors. I love a simple preserved boxwood wreath, but during the spring in Kentucky, we often see Jockey Silk or equestrian/Derby style door hangers.
** If you have planters on the front porch, now is the time to fill them! My grandmother always had red geraniums or deep fuchsia petunias in her planters. I tend to lean toward the petunias or boston ferns, but really, anything that brings some life to the front is a positive move!
** Remove any debris, and replace mulch. I love the look of a dark black mulch against a home. It just looks crisp and fresh, but any sort of refresh is going to pop. Red mulch, pea gravel, lava rock… But be sure to keep it clean. We have two oak trees that drop their Springtime straggles constantly from May to June, so we make sure to sweep the sidewalk when needed.
** this post is not sponsored in any way. all thoughts and opinions are my own **
** photo by Caitlin Tudor **